BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – FBI Director James Comey says the threat of terrorism remains the bureau’s top priority.
And today he gave local reporters a snapshot of what’s happening.
For one, he says the Islamic State known as ISIS continues to push out a “very slick” recruiting message.
Comey says ISIS presence on Twitter has diminished “significantly,” and says it appears the group’s message for people to travel is not resonating as much.
“We over the last six months have seen a drop in the number of cases of people who are attempting to travel to the so called caliphate,” said Comey, during a visit to the FBI’s field office in Buffalo.
Comey says the FBI was seeing about six to ten people a month, but he says that’s dropped to about one a month.
And while that’s a positive sign, he says the FBI continues to open new cases across the country.
“Trying to spot and assess people and if they’re on a path towards violence to disrupt them,” he said.
Comey says what happened in Paris and Brussels is another dimension to the threat.
“That’s a threat we spend a lot of time focused on because anybody who flows out from Syria to the EU is simply a plane ride from the United States.”
The FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State also came up during an exchange with reporters.
Comey wouldn’t comment on any specific aspects of the probe, nor would he say when it will be wrapped up.
But, this is a presidential election year, and Clinton is running for the Democratic Party nomination.
News 4 asked whether Comey or his agents feel any pressure to finish the email probe before the party’s convention this summer.
“No, and the only reason I hesitate is in any investigation of intense public interest, whether it involves a public figure. Involves some horrific crime. San Bernardino is a great example. We feel a great sense of urgency to do it well and to do it promptly,” Comey explained. “I wouldn’t say the concerns are any different in any of the high profile cases. And the reason is good people want to know. There’s intense interest in investigations like that. Like a San Bernardino.”
Comey says the FBI will always do investigations well, and do them promptly.
“But if we have to choose between the two, well, obviously comes first.”
This is Comey’s second visit as FBI Director to the Buffalo field office.
During his visit to he met with the FBI’s law enforcement partners in the Western New York area